Moriah will get $249,815 for its Bulwagga Bay shoreline stabilization project from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
The town of Moriah and village of Port Henry will receive $1.2 million in grant funding from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Dec. 19.
Moriah will get $249,815 for its Bulwagga Bay shoreline stabilization project and $200,000 for a Lake Champlain non-point source pollution subwatershed assessment and management plan.
The village of Port Henry will get $600,000 to replace 1,371 linear feet of water line and 1,686 feet of sewer line and install eight new fire hydrants.
The Housing Assistance Program of Essex County, Inc. will receive $150,000 to redevelop a building at 4316 Main St. in Port Henry as a mixed-use property with retail on the first floor and two senior citizen apartments on the second.
Statewide, a total of $738 million was awarded for 725 economic development projects in every region of New York State.
The Bulwagga Bay project is key for the town of Moriah and the entire North Country, Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said.
“This is great news for the community,” he said. “These grants are based on regional impact. Bulwagga Bay has an impact beyond the town of Moriah.”
The town-owned Bulwagga Bay beach and campsite on Lake Champlain is being damaged by erosion. Without action the public beach and 175-site campground will be lost.
“It has to be done,” Scozzafava said of the shoreline stablization project. “The town board can’t sit back and let that shoreline erode. It’s a black and white issue; there’s no gray area. It has to be done.
“We’re losing 6 to 10 feet of beach a year,” he said. “We’re losing the beach; we’re losing the campground.”
The shoreline has moved back 25 to 40 feet since 1995, according to the Adirondack Park Agency.
Realizing the problem two years ago, local leaders secured permits from the Adirondack Park Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build three revetments made of half-ton rocks reaching into Lake Champlain to combat the erosion. The revetments are 4,080, 4,110 and 4,670 square feet in size, and the beach end of each will be enveloped in landscaped trees and shrubs.
Those permits expire at the end of 2013, so the project must be completed.
Preliminary engineering has been finished for the project and the town will soon seek bids for the final engineering plans. Work is expected to start in the spring, depending on lake levels.
The Bulwagga Bay erosion project is expected to cost $300-500,000.
Scozzafava said the Regional Economic Development Council grant won’t cover the entire cost of the project.
“It will have considerable impact, though,” he said. “We’ll do as much work as possible ourselves and we’ll have to bond for the rest of it.”
Bulwagga Bay generated $294,737 in revenue for the town in 2012, Scozzafava said. The $120,000 profit will be used to off-set 2013 local taxes.
The campsite has already lost 10 lakefront campsites to erosion, Scozzafava said. That’s $20,000 a year in revenue.
The supervisor also pointed out the campground and beach have economic impact on the business community.
“The people at the campsite and beach stop at stores, restaurants, gas stations,” Scozzafava said. “They spend money in the community.
“Bulwagga Bay is important to our local economy,” he added. “It attracts tourists, it provides local jobs and it plays a role in our economic development.”
After the project is finished it will require annual monitoring of erosion and water levels on the beach. The town will be allowed to fill in — “re-nourish” — areas above the revetments where any erosion takes place.
As part of the Bulwagga Bay project the town will work with the village of Port Henry to develop a strategic plan for recreational facilities that evaluates redevelopment potential and management options for increasing usage.
Scozzafava said Moriah’s grant for the Lake Champlain non-point source pollution subwatershed assessment and management plan will be turned over to the Lake George Park Commission.
“We were the sponsor agency for that grant,” Scozzafava said. “That money will be used to develop a plan for the entire Lake Champlain-Lake George corridor.”
The plan will establish criteria to prioritize water quality impairments and evaluate the economic benefit of clean water, according to the governor’s office. It will include recommendations to help protect water quality that supports the tourism industry in Lake Champlain region.
“For the second year in a row, the Regional Councils have been on the forefront of rebuilding New York State’s economy,” Cuomo said. “For too many years, top-down economic development policies have failed communities across the state and not truly invested in the unique resources and strengths of each of New York’s regions. Now a new, bottom-up approach is in place that brings local communities together to chart their own economic destiny. The second round of Regional Economic Development Council awards will deliver funding for critical projects and investments in communities across our state, helping put New Yorkers back to work and rebuilding our economy.”
State Sen. Betty Little noted her district had 50 projects funded by the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.
“Strengthening our economy is a top priority I share with Gov.Andrew Cuomo,” Little said. “The regional economic development councils are ensuring that the state’s economic development funding priorities are locally determined. The best ideas to grow the economy come from the people, businesses, academic institutions, elected officials, non-profit organizations and others on the local level who see and know firsthand what works and where to invest these financial resources. It was great to be in Albany this morning to see the plans presented and awards announced knowing the hard work that has gone into each one.”